Nikki Gewirtz, the founder of Lola Rose Jewellery, has come a long way from her humble beginnings, hand-making jewellery at the kitchen table of her north London flat. One of Nikki’s first pieces — the ‘Tumble’ bracelet with strings of precious stone beads threaded onto silk chord — was an instant hit, quickly propelled by a string of celebrity fans into one of the most recognisable must-have accessories of the noughties. Fast forward 18 years and Lola Rose remains a favourite among British households and A-listers alike, with the Duchess of Cambridge, no less, regularly spotted wearing Nikki’s popular, semi-precious gemstone designs.
Tell us the story behind Lola Rose, Nikki, how did it all begin?
On my 30th birthday, I received a piece of jewellery, a bracelet, and although I appreciated the beauty of the gift, I also knew the price tag and put the bracelet away for ‘best’. I had been working an unfulfilling career as a personal assistant at the time and had noticed a gap in the market for affordable accessories that women could not only buy as gifts for loved ones, but also self-purchase without a feeling of guilt. Receiving that bracelet, and knowing that its beauty was going unworn and unappreciated because of the price tag, I felt compelled to act upon my frustrations. My creative side was ignited and I set about trying to bead my own beautiful creations at the kitchen table of my north London flat. From there, the business grew, and fast forward 18 years, Lola Rose is the fully fledged accessories brand it is today!
What was the first piece of jewellery you ever made?
The first piece I created was the Alfie bracelet – it still features in collections today. As a bracelet, it represents everything Lola Rose is; fun, affordable and luxurious, and most excitingly it has stood the test of time as a truly classic and timeless piece of jewellery. Chunky, statement and full of personality, Alfie is the original Lola Rose icon.
We understand you incorporate semi-precious gemstones into your designs…
Semi-precious gemstones feature across our core Lola Rose range and it is the nature of these unique materials that makes them so special. Each item is distinctive and the selection of stones we use means that no two pieces are the same, with different grains and colours coming to life in each piece. They also allow the wearer to make a statement and be bold.
Who do you design for?
Lola Rose is designed for woman of all ages, shapes and sizes. Our collections are all about personality and celebrating everything that makes women unique and special. Every woman is different and one of a kind, as is every piece of Lola Rose. We are a very personal brand and hope that each wearer will discover an intimate connection with the jewellery. The way in which they can mix and match the colours and layer the profiles should inspire them with confidence.
What is your favourite piece?
I have so many favourite pieces, in fact, at some point, every piece I create is a favourite! However, there are pieces that stand out a little more for special reasons. Most recently, I created a necklace that has gone on to become a hero within the Lola Rose family; the Diamond LOVED Charm Necklace.
One late evening, I came home to my husband and kids tucked up in bed – fast asleep. I then noticed a lovely hand-written card on the side. I opened the card and inside Freddie (my first born) had beautifully written ‘I Loved You’. Even though the spelling of the word love seemed incorrect, I fell in love with this term and realised how loved I was by my family. With this in mind, I created the necklace, as part of the Curio collection.
Once the necklace launched, I quickly understood how limitless and empowering this idea could become. And with this in mind, the Curio Bunting Necklace Collection was created with words that celebrate what it is to be a woman. Who knows where this collection will go – there is certainly no end to the inspiring words we use to describe ourselves and other women.
What’s your proudest achievement?
In 2015 I was awarded the incredible honour of an MBE for services to British fashion. When I received the letter to inform me, I was absolutely delighted and incredibly humbled. The fashion industry had been so supportive of myself and the brand and I was really honoured to be joining the ranks of other eminent talents to be awarded the same. I think it is important that we recognise the talent within British fashion – as we have such immense talent – and we continue to do so moving forward.
What is Lola Rose working on at the moment?
I am always working on new and exciting projects. The most recent project that is still ever-developing is our Curio collection. A collection of demi fine sterling silver and diamond pieces, this collection was a Lola Rose first. It was the first collection that allowed me to work with diamonds, which of course was going to happen at some point – they are a girl’s best friend!
Last but not least, we know you are a fan of all things floral, too! What’s is your favourite flower, and why?
Although roses are at the heart of the brand and its story, my personal favourite flower is the hydrangea. It featured in my wedding bouquet and is a flower that is symbolic of happiness to me.